Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: Named by God: Overcoming Your Past, Transforming Your Present, Embracing Your Future by Kasey Van Norman

Synopsis: In many ways, Kasey Van Norman has suffered more heartbreak than one woman can bear. Growing up, she endured her parents’ divorce, date rape, and years of addiction to sex, cutting, and eating disorders. As an adult, Kasey has endured a painful miscarriage; the heartbreak (and restoration) of infidelity; a cancer diagnosis; rejection by her friends, church, and community; and her mother’s death from cancer. But at the end of this twisting path of sorrow, Kasey walked out of the wilderness and into a place of God’s merciful and miraculous healing and redemption. In Named by God, Kasey shares her story of God’s infinite grace and compassion so that others might learn from her experience as they encounter a depth of Jesus like never before! (from the online description)

Review: From first glance, this book had the promise of being another shallow, best-life-now, following-Jesus-is-perfect-hair-and-puppies - the type of book that lines the shelves of any modern Christian bookstore. I abhor books like this. They usually say nothing of worth, create emotions that give the illusion of nearness of God while simultaneously telling us we're okay without having the change. This book has its share of this. There is lots of Christian jargon, lots of affirmations and comforts and southern charm. This book stands on the precipice of trite fluff not worth the time to read the back blurb. Oddly enough, what saves this book from being another in a tall pile of "Chicken-Soul-Soup-Fluff-n-Nonsense" is Kacey herself. Her story has power and the way she tells her story has power. It's unusual to find a Christian woman in a place of leadership who has walk through what she has. And I'm not talking about tragedies - I'm talking about clear-cut sins. Kacey is honest about her sins. honest about the pain, honest about the consequences, and honest about her repentance. She is forgiven and she knows it, and more importantly, she lives it. Regardless of the what else is in the book, this is a powerful message that many of us need. Not only are we forgiven, but the people around us desperately need forgiveness too. Christians are eager to gossip and put-down those in our midst who fall into sin, and we forget that we are only a step away from that ourselves. Kacey, by sharing her story, reminds us to love one another, and that all of us our sinners. Some just hide it better than others. In addition, as a trained counselor and an experience teacher, her instructions and admonishments have a practical side not often seen in these sorts of books. Looking to our past to better understand ourselves, our present and our future is important, and has merit.
While I did not complete the workbook, many other women in my Bible Study did and I highly recommend doing so. In the end, this was not my cup of tea, but I am glad to have read it, as it is a valuable resource for many women and I will recommend it if I feel that it can do a person good.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6474-2
Year Published: 2012
Date Finished: 1-21-2016
Pages: 239

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